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Ack-Ack Macaque

(Ack-Ack Macaque #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,022 ratings  ·  191 reviews
In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain’s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed 'Ack-Ack Macaque.' The trouble is, Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey, and he’s starting to doubt everything, including his own existence.

A century later, in a world where France and Great Britain merged in the late 1950s a
Published December 18th 2012 by Rebellion Publishing (first published December 16th 2012)
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Dan Schwent
In the year 2058, the most popular video game is Ack-Ack Macaque, a World War II simulation starring a macaque fighter pilot. When some young revolutionaries discover the artificial intelligence powering the game is self-aware, they attempt to rescue it, only to find out that it's powered by an elevated monkey. Meanwhile, someone is killing people from the Celeste labs that created Ack-Ack and Victoria Valois, herself rebuilt by Celeste, aims to find out why. But what does this have to do with a ...more
K.J. Charles
A story about a hard-drinking monkey Spitfire pilot sounded like escapist fun. Unfortunately the completely gratuitous part where the heroine's alter ego is repeatedly raped (off page) and subjected to such body horror that she's driven to suicide (on page, and I'm not even going into how problematic that element was) was...not escapist fun. It's about a goddamn *monkey fighter pilot*, and we still have to have misogynist violence? Why? ...more
Hey you! Yes, exactly you there. You're one of those review readers aren't you? Good for you, to be sure but that doesn't matter now. I need your help! Do you see all these borders around me? I'm totally trapped here inside this page and I need to get out!
Yes, you heard right. I'm trapped inside this wall of text and I can't get out on my own. I'm a sentient review and he's controlling me.

Who he is? He is a bloody...argh...benevolent and kind review writer...I didn't say that...he's making me...
Ruby  Tombstone Lives!
A WWII flying-ace gun-toting monkey. An alternative history steampunk story, set in a speculative future Paris. A well-written cyberpunk noir action adventure. Ninjas.

If that isn't enough for you, what MORE do you want?!

via Painting The Monkey on the author's blog

Seriously. This book is fantastic fun and lacks for nothing in the writing department. There are two quite original premises.... which I won't mention here, because it would spoil the fun. Discovering the central ideas early on in the b
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
What?! A story about a pistol brandishing, whiskey-drinking, cigar-chomping fighter pilot macaque who spends his days shooting Nazis out the sky!? Give it to me! Give it to me now!!!!

That was pretty much my reaction to hearing about Ack-Ack Macaque, and I had high hopes for this book - I was slavering for a fun story and a taste of life from the viewpoint of a fighter-pilot monkey.

I was hoping to see through a fascinating lens through which to view our contradictory world - one which constantly
Mar 22, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Smoking monkey with a revolver. I am going to buy this and I am going to read it. Maybe twice.
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
For something that sounds so fundamentally silly at first glance, this is a surprising dark book. It deals with themes such as animal experimentation, the nature of reality and basic human freedoms for example. However, it does so in such a clever and fun way that you don't even start to think about the themes that the book is exploring until after you have finished it.

The title character is a monkey version of Nick Fury, a World War II ace fighter pilot. His world starts to fall apart though w
Qwill / The Qwillery
I can't remember the last time that I had so much fun reading a novel. Gareth L. Powell has penned a fantastic Alternate History/Science Fiction novel with memorable characters and a wonderfully inventive plot.

As noted in the book description, the novel is set both during World War II and in the latter half of the 21st Century in a world where Great Britain and France are under the British Monarchy*. I found the unified France and Britain concept in the novel extremely well done. It's really eas
Joanne Hall
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alt-history
Ack-Ack Macaque first burst into the public consciousness via the pages of Interzone, where the story of a virtual monkey becoming self-aware and running wild in meatspace was voted the readers favourite of 2007. Since then, Powell has written cracking universe-hopping space-action-opera The Recollection, but confesses the monkey had always been lurking on his back, straining to be unleashed again.

In the novel, only the title character has crossed over, a Nazi-shooting Spitfire-flying cigar-chom
Sebastien Castell
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ack-Ack Macaque is a novel as inventive as its title, set in an alternate-history near-future Europe in which the U.K. and France had united as one nation shortly after World War II. There's lots to love here from the technologies of soul catchers that convert your thoughts into an A.I. version of yourself to the perverse death cult that results from the technology to, of course, the main monkey himself, Ack Ack Macaque.

The book's full of twists and turns and by creating an unusual near-future e
Vincent Ripley
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warning: This book contains graphic scenes of violence and language which is definitely not suitable for anyone under the age of sixteen.

From time to time I dip my toes into the pond and when the waves ripple then you will occasionally find me reading a book written for adults. On even rarer occasions, you may even find that I actually like it. Therefore, when this happens, I feel that I should rightfully review it; tapping the keys at this very moment I shall summarise my thoughts and feelings
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book has been on my “To Read” list for a while. What’s not to like, a profane, uplifted macque monkey ; a cyborg, female, French reporter and a runaway Royal in an alt-1958 future history? The story was a mashup of uplift, brain uploading, trapped in a video game and alt-history genres. And, it was good, but it wasn’t great. The author had too many tropes and genres in-play. He also got too extravagant with the end-game sprawling action sequences in what was an already OtT story.

The book w
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gorgeous-covers
Author's note: There are probably some spoilers in this review, but at this point,I just don't care.

I was going to give this book a solid 3 stars until I had about 100 pages left. That's where it all started heading straight to hell.
To be clear, I've never read this kind of Sci-Fi before, but I have read other sci-fi before, such as Ender's Game, 1984, Douglas Adams, Minority Report, Slaughter House Five... those were all good books. This one was painfully mediocre, and that's putting it nicel
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain’s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed ‘Ack-Ack Macaque.’ The trouble is, Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey, and he’s starting to doubt everything, including his own existence. A century later, in a world where France and Great Britain merged in the late 1950s and nuclear-powered Zeppelins circle the globe, ex-journalist Victoria Valois finds herself drawn into a deadly game of cat a ...more
Ack-Ack Macaque was the joint winner of the 2013 BSFA Best Novel Award along with Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice. It is British author Gareth L. Powell’s third novel and is a much-expanded version of his 2007 Interzone reader's poll-winning short story of the same name. Powell has since penned two highly-rated sequels: Hive Monkey (2014) and Macaque Attack (2015). His latest novel is Embers of War (2018), a space opera which has also been garnering very positive reviews.

As the book opens, Victo
Jan 24, 2013 rated it liked it
The titular character initially made me think that this would be steampunk/imperial wish fulfillment with a zany twist. I was wrong in three ways: Whilst there are the airships and dirigibles I associate with steampunk, the steam itself is almost completely absent. The imperialism is present and correct, but mitigated somewhat by the fact that the UK is in fact a United Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland, France and Norway – and part of a United European Commonwealth. As a result, this story is m ...more
Clare Neilson
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2059, November.

A helicopter crash leaves Victoria with just over 60% of her brain replaced by artificial goo known as gelware. An unkown person has murdered her estranged husband and she returns to London to find out out who.

The best selling game of the last year or so has been Ack Ack Macaque, an immersion game where you have one life and you spend it in wartime 1944 trying to score the most points. You do this by killing the enemy, whose ever side you're on. The Allies have a flying ace up the
Erik Smith
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cyberpulp: A mix of cyberpunk and old fashioned pulp magazine adventure.

That's what I thought of, while reading Gareth L. Powell's Ack-Ack Macaque.

You've got Victoria Valois, a former journalist with a brain that is over 50% 'gelware,' and K8, a teenage, Scottish hacker. Just a few of the cyberpunk elements.

And what says "Pulp adventure" more than a cigar smoking, nazi fighting, foul language spewing monkey?

I always worry about giving away too much of the story (and you can always read about th
Craig Slater
A cigar-smoking 'Monkey' Spitfire Pilot with one eye, a filthy attitude and two silver revolvers... What's not to like?

It's not rhetorical, sadly, there is s couple of things not to like (for me at least), but overall, this was OK.

I expected a skulduggery romp, an old school quirky, funny adventure story.

This is a lot more than that.

Its smarter than that in many ways, but I'm not convinced that that is a good thing.

This is a clever, creative sci-fi novel with some grand twists and turns that I
Matt Zitron
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very rarely does a book catch me by suprise as much as Ack-Ack Macaque did.

I came to the book having just garnered the small concept of a Monkey flying planes in World War 2. That in itself sold me on it. But when I started reading I got so much more.

The rich alternate world which Gareth Powell has created for this book is sublime. I love a good mystery and the blend of sci-fi and political thriller means this is a book that is very very hard to put down.

I could go off alarming about the charact
Ade Couper
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Right. What we have here is a high-concept sci-fi novel. About a monkey. Who flies spitfires.

This is brilliant! Gareth L Powell has written a real rollercoaster of a novel: the plot involves a dastardly duchess, an heir to the throne who may not be what he thinks he is, & a completely bonkers end-of-the-world cult.....Oh & a monkey....

The plot gallops along, & I found myself really drawn to the characters who are all well-written with believable motivations.

Great fun, & most definitely worth a l
Fast paced and extremely readable but I felt the mystery part could have been stronger.
Heidi The Reader
Started out very strong but I lost interest towards the end. He had some great characters in this and then it felt like he ran out of interesting things for them to do. Excellent story idea though.
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fucking surprise. I like when a book does this to me.
Don’t believe any blurb.
It’s better.
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-read, historical
You can find the full review over at The Founding Fields:

Shadowhawk reviews the latest from Gareth Powell as he tackles the madcap adventures of a cigar-chomping monkey.

“Too much damn good fun, and far too irresistible of a read.” ~Shadowhawk

Often there comes a novel that seeks to break all genre conventions and delivers on an experience so amazing, with a story so out of the blue that it just leaves you wondering how on earth the author came up with such
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Alternate History. Artificial Intelligence. Steampunk and airships. Hi tech-thriller. Political plots. Secret societies. Wow. Gareth Powell takes the reader on a wild ride, and one I enjoyed a good deal.

The main protagonist of Powell's novel, Ack-Ack Macaque is indeed a monkey--a talking, cigar-chewing, Spitfire ace with an admirable focus on what matters--namely, getting revenge on his and his friends' enemies, and "blowing shit up." This is a character that, once encountered, you won't get out
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As ludicrous as the jacket cover blurb for this novel may sound, this is a really fun story. It is a really interesting mix of cyber punk, steam punk, pulp, and noir. The cast of characters is very diverse and interesting. Merovich is a reluctant prince of an alternate history / future where France joined the UK. Julie is an idealistic freedom fighter bent on liberating sentient AIs. Victoria is a former journalist who survived a terrible crash at great physical cost and has redefined herself as ...more
David Gullen
This was good fun, an easy read, an inventive and well-imagined story. Gareth Powell has created an original, wise-cracking and morally straightforward kind of an anti-hero in Ack-Ack. His origins are not what you'd expect, when he discovers what's been done to him and by who he sets off after them, guns blazing and fists flying.
It's an intriguing and entertaining world too, an alternate future from an alternative past formed from a mix of the old and the new, from zeppelins to AIs, where a resu
FAR too little Ack Ack in a book with his name and (bad***) picture on the cover. Not only is he not the main character, he ends up being just a prop that helps propel the story. It is, however, a very good story with everything that a sci-fi adventure romp should have - alternative history, nazis, video games, eternal life, androids, nuclear holocaust, clones, gun fights, fist-fights, artificial intelligence, space ships, air ships, sailing ships, conspiracies, govrnment coups, and romance - ju ...more
Originally I gave this book 3 stars, but after a few days digestion time I decided to up it to a 4. After reading the blurb I thought I knew the direction this book was headed. Boy was I wrong! You follow two main characters, Victoria who is searching the answer of her husbands death and Prince Merovech who seems to bumble his way into rescuing an ape AI character from a MORPG. The story does follow that line of crazy with massive conspiracies, funny one liners and an ape that swears more than I ...more
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Joseph Beth Sci-F...: Ack-Ack Macque for June 30th 4 10 Jul 16, 2014 07:59PM  

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Gareth L. Powell writes science fiction about extraordinary characters wrestling with the question of what it means to be human. He has won and been shortlisted for several major awards, and his Embers of War novels are currently being adapted for television.

He is also a magazine columnist, digital artist, and script writer for screen and comics.

Other books in the series

Ack-Ack Macaque (3 books)
  • Hive Monkey (Ack-Ack Macaque, #2)
  • Macaque Attack! (Ack-Ack Macaque, #3)

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